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Senate may cancel recess after Obama scolding

Sen. Harry Reid addresses reporters on Capitol Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Democrats will consider canceling the Senate's week-long July 4 recess scheduled for next week in the wake of the president's harsh words for Congress over its regular trips away from Washington.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mr. Obama called for members of Congress to "cancel things and stay here" in Washington if there isn't "substantial progress" by the end of the week on a deal to raise the debt limit.

He complained that members are "in [session] one week, they're out one week."

"You need to be here," he said, directing his comments at members. "I've been here."

The House of Representatives has been off eight weeks this year so far, and is scheduled to leave again the week of July 18. The Senate is scheduled to be out of session next week and recesses for one month starting August 6.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada plans to discuss cancelling next week's break with the Democratic caucus late this afternoon. It could be difficult to cancel on such short notice, however, because many members have obligations back in their states and trips planned. In a release Wednesday afternoon, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called on senators to stay in Washington next week.